Message from Fr. Peter Andronache
St. Panteleimon’s birth name was Pantaleon (in all things like a lion). He became Panteleimon (in all things merciful) at his baptism by St. Hermolaos. This change seems rather illustrative of the transformation that Christianity should bring to our lives. Becoming a Christian does not remove one’s personality; it does not make us into a group of people undistinguishable from one another. Rather, it takes each one of us, uniquely, wonderfully, and fearfully made, and transforms us. A first change happens instantly at the moment of baptism, being “planted in the likeness of [Christ’s] death,” and we see this reflected by the name change of St. Panteleimon.
The second change is gradual and depends on our willingness to follow Christ. Continually, throughout the course of our lives, we are called to live out the new life that we have been given in our Lord, to continually grow in holiness as we follow the commandments and example of Christ. St. Panteleimon. He used his medical training to heal without receiving payment, arousing the ire of other doctors in Nicomedia, who used the fact that he was a Christian to bring him to his martyrdom. In both life and death, St. Panteleimon illustrated a true Christian life. By his prayers, may we be granted the strength and grace to do the same in our lives.
With love in